Watt's to hire Inman as SRO

Watts Town Clerk Brigitte Beavers, standing, swears in new town council member, Katherine Michele Thompson, seated, while councilors John Ford and Dea Nelson observe.

Ellen Workman | Westville Reporter

Watts School will now have a resource officer on site. In the wake of a recent situation where a student brought a gun on campus, the school system and police department are coordinating to provide a resource officer. Doug Inman, a well-known officer in various law enforcement jobs in Adair and Delaware counties for many years, will be stepping into the position as soon as he fully recovers from COVID. In the interim, the duty is being split between other reserve and certified officers. Police Chief Matt Stilwell said Iinman’s salary will be split between the town and the school.

“It will help the town and school both,” Stilwell said.

Katherine Michele Thompson was appointed as the fifth trustee to fill the remainder of a four-year term.  Trustees are Thompson, John Ford, John Green, Dea Nelson, and Vicky Taylor, who also serves as mayor.   

The town continues to have some Cares Act money that needs to be spent, and it was decided to give approximately 400 credits of $115 each toward residential utilities for a total of approximately $46,000.  

Water Superintendent Tim Shepherd made the recommendation “to give back to the community” and also recommended dividing up the remaining $9,000 as premium pay for essential employees who worked steadily through the pandemic to keep the town’s services operating.   

Kristy Littlefield of Ober & Littlefield addressed the trustees regarding the recent audit.   “The town looks good and the audit was smooth,” said Littlefield.

She also welcomed employees to contact her office if they have questions later. 

One local resident addressed the trustees saying she wanted to apologize for the way she had acted regarding an incident on 4th Street.  She said she migght have inadvertently built on part of the 40 road and it may cause some problems if she tries to move it in winter.  

Trustees advised that they are still trying to get a survey done, but the surveyors are backed up and they do not know exactly when the survey will be completed.   

Shepherd asked the trustees to reconsider an issue already voted on, to pay up to $3,500 for each lot cleaned or house removed as long as the contractor has liability insurance.   The contractor who made the bid has not actually begun cleaning up the properties and Shepherd said that there have been others interested but that trustees would have to give permission to allow anyone besides the original contractor to do the work. It was unanimously approved by trustees.  

Town Clerk Brigitte Beavers brought a letter from Bill Langley stating that his parents own 16 lots in the Town of Watts and both are now deceased. He offered to let the Town purchase all 16 lots for a total of $32,000.00 if they are interested. One lot is directly adjacent to city offices and ownership would allow the town to construct a shop or storage on the lot. There was a lengthy discussion as to how to pay for the lots. Langley offered to enter into a lease purchase agreement and/or make arrangements with the financing if the town wants to purchase the lots. No details were worked out as far as financing but the trustees did vote to accept Langley’s offer.   

Shepherd reported having four calls for the fire department, three fires and one wreck. Three new water meters have been installed with two more awaiting installation, he said, and there is leak that has not been located but is being traced. He said they have opened up several suspicious sites on the hill but so far the water they are finding is running downhill adjacent to the lines from the actual leak.

In other business, trustees approved: purchase orders for the general fund, the financial report for October 2021, the 2022 calendar year schedule for regular meetings for the Town of Watts and Watts Public Works Authority, court dates and holidays; payment to Need Harvel and Associates regarding engineering services for sewer systems improvement, payment to Park Hill for administrative services for the CDBG Sewer Systems Improvements Project, allocating the remainder of the 2020 Cares Act money to the fire department to purchase PPEs and safety equipment, and a holiday bonus for all employees of $500 for full time and $250 for part time employees for a total of $2,000.   

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